Monday, May 28, 2007

Much Ado - not Adu-related

In a way that's reminiscent of how Beckham's contract, instead of being reported as simply 5 million plus incentives, was listed everywhere as $250 million (the upper limit if all incentives and sponsorships maxed out), Alexi Lalas' recent words about David Beckham were mischaracterized all over the world.

Lalas never said Beckham couldn't play a friendly on a FIFA-approved date. He went out of his way to say Beckham getting called up was a wonderful thing. He said that the Galaxy would be willing to release Beckham for competitive matches, but not for every friendly that came along, because his club needs him.

Of course Lalas was aware that clubs need to be FIFA-compliant on official dates set aside for friendlies, (notice there are only two listed for all of 2007) but he also knows that many friendlies aren't on those days. For example, the U.S./Denmark match that kicked off the Bob Bradley era.

How, "We don't want Beckham to play in every friendly" becomes "We will defy FIFA and keep Beckham from playing" well, just ask Pete Vagenas how easily press can spin quotes a certain way.

But FIFA couldn't resist the impulse to flex authoritative muscle, stating that all clubs must release players on FIFA international friendly dates.

Duh. Talk about making a story of a non-story.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, but the fact that he specifies "competitive" matches only implies that he doesn't want him to play friendlies, FIFA dates or not. His comments might have been mischaracterized, but I don't think Lalas did a good job explaining what he meant if that was the case. Then commenting on how it wasn't good news from a business perspective didn't help his case either. Lalas has a bad habit of shooting his mouth off without thinking.

A.C. said...

Actually, if you listen to the interview, he mentions competitive matches and adds "some friendlies" at the end of the same line. Most places quoting him cut that out. His interviewer even specifies that certain friendlies would be ok - clarifying that Lalas has no problem with the Brazil friendly, which Lalas agrees with. The news channels aren't reporting that, either, just like they left out all of Lalas' effusive statements about being happy for Beckham making the team again.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for not jumping on the bandwagon. I am not a fan of Lalas, but I didn't see any of the stuff everyone else is alluding to in his comments.